Hucknall’s Lovelace Theatre Group arrows in on Robin Hood

ROBIN Hood is very much in the news because of ambitious schemes to promote the legendary outlaw’s links with Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle.

So ‘Robin Hood’ was a highly topical choice by Hucknall’s Lovelace Theatre Group for their 2013 pantomime at the John Godber Centre.

Jess Wall ably played the principal-boy title role, aided and abetted by a motley crew of Merry Men.

Bailey Watson was Friar Tuck, who has been thrown out of a monastery because of ‘dirty habits’, and Ed Turner sought to emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger as Little John by doing press-ups every time he appeared on stage,

Jacob Hunt-Wheatley played the part of Alan a’Dale, who composed songs which were all to the tune of ‘Greensleeves’, and Daniel Knight made Will Scarlett a comically gay character.

The good King Richard (Gary Clarke) has gone off on a crusade and left his nasty brother, Prince John (Jamie McBride) to run the kingdom.

The Sheriff of Nottingham (Pete O’Kane) has carried out John’s instructions by taxing the poor to the point of starvation, with his enthusiastic assistants, Smash and Grab (Viv Turtle-Savage and Vicki Clarke), living up to their names.

It was up to Robin to thwart them and his duet with Maid Marion (Kirsty Thorne) -- the Bryan Adams number, ‘Everything I Do’ -- was a vocal highlight.

Mark Swinson was a flamboyant dame, Courgette, and Bernie Kirk influenced the proceedings as the Wise Woman, whi had her own website.

Rebecca Mitchell clearly enjoyed playing a bear for an ‘He’s behind you’ scene. The cast was completed by Linda Mayes as a TV news presenter, Cheryl Budweiser, Emily Giles as a jailer and eight ‘villagers’.

There were four performances of ‘Robin Hood’, which was directed by Becs Mayes, assisted by Eileen Mayes.

Apart from one or two minor stumbles with timing, the production found its target as convincingly as an arrow from Robin Hood’s bow.

The audience reaction at the Saturday matinee was summed up by four youngsters who were invited on to the stage to join in a song.

Asked what they had most enjoyed about the panto, each of them replied “All of it.”

Denis Robinson